The Economy: Better or Worse Than a Year Ago?

A year ago tomorrow Lehman Brothers announced its collapse, marking the beginning of the end of the self-sustained U.S. financial system, as big banks crumbled one after the other and ultimately received $2 trillion in government money to keep existing. President Obama will use the occasion to deliver a speech on Wall Street this afternoon, outlining a retreat from the government's involvement with financial institutions. So how does the economy today, and Americans views of it, compare to a year ago? According to Gallup's charts, the economy is worse, but Americans are more optimistic that it's getting better:


gallup lehman day bars 1.jpgThe measures are for percentage of Americans who say the economy is getting better/worse, percentage of Americans who say their employers are hiring/letting people go, and self-reported average daily consumer spending.

Here's a look back at how everything progressed. Note that a year ago, people were spending tons of money and thinking the economy was getting worse...and then it did: consumer spending saw sharp drops before Obama was inaugurated, then continued to decline. Now, people are more optimistic about the economy than they were on the first day of its collapse:

gallup lehman day graph 1.jpg



Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Video

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Video

Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

More in Politics

Just In